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When most people think about what sea vegetables are, their first instinct is to imagine Asian cuisine or the ocean. Sea vegetables, which mostly consist of different types of seaweed, are critical to a macrobiotic diet. While people tend to consistently utilize macrobiotic sea vegetables in a majority of Japanese meals, their applicability does not stop there. The possibilities of sea vegetable dishes are endless. Sea vegetables provide an abundance of nutrients and are easy to add to almost any dish.

To learn how to incorporate macrobiotics into your life, schedule time with Denny now!

What Are Sea Vegetables?

Sea vegetables are plants from the sea that are high in macrobiotic nutrients and vitamins. Though sea vegetables are not traditionally represented in American cuisine, this exotic assortment of vegetables is easy to implement into regular diets. However, when buying sea vegetables, it is essential to buy them from natural food stores and at their highest quality to yield the best health effects.

Three of the most common macrobiotic sea vegetables include nori, wakame, and kombu. 


Toasted nori sheets are crispy sheets of edible seaweed. They are lightweight and thin, like kale chips, and are incredibly high in nutrients. 


Commonly served in Asian dishes, wakame is a stringy seaweed that tends to be prepared as a salad or inside soups. It is one of the healthiest macrobiotic sea vegetables. Wakame is rich in calcium and vitamins A, B, C, E, and K.


Kombu seaweed is known for being an excellent source of umami, a savory taste popular in Japan. Kombu tends to be hard to digest on its own, so it requires more prolonged cooking. 

How to Use Sea Vegetables

Toasted nori sheets can be prepared as a snack or a garnish. Aside from sushi, nori is best when crumpled into soups, fried rice, and noodles. Toasted nori sheets can also be eaten plain as a healthy, macrobiotic substitute for chips, but should not be eaten every day.

Similar to nori, wakame can easily be inserted into meals. Wakame is best served in miso soups, salads, and sautéed vegetables. Wakame can even be added on top of a macrobiotic-friendly poke bowl. 

Unlike nori and wakame, kombu should not be eaten alone because of its strong flavor. It is best cooked and served with other ingredients, such as beans, soups, and vegetables. For people who are first trying kombu, use small amounts of it at first to gauge how much of the umami flavor you enjoy.

Generally, it is recommended that people eat sea vegetables about 2-3 times a week or more, depending on the plant. Consumption rates of toasted nori sheets and kombu should abide by this recommendation, whereas wakame can be eaten more often.

Benefits of Sea Vegetables

Macrobiotic sea vegetables are famous for their nutritional content. Nori, wakame, kombu, and many other sea vegetables are abundant in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, iodine, calcium, magnesium, and iron. Macrobiotic diets refrain from animal-based products, and sea vegetables are a simple option to supply your body with all of the minerals it needs.

Incorporating macrobiotic sea vegetables into a diet is shown to significantly improve heart health and fertility for men and women. These vegetables, supplemented with a macrobiotic diet, will also prevent and decrease the effects of aging, cancer, and diabetes. In addition, sea vegetables can serve as a protector for people who live near or are susceptible to being impacted by environmental hazards, such as heavy metals, pollutants, and radioactivity. 

Furthermore, sea vegetables serve as natural, organic elements that boost one’s overall well-being. Not only are they a natural antibiotic and anti-inflammatory, but sea vegetables also lower cholesterol. They also filter and detoxify the bloodstream, which regulates metabolism and blood pressure rates.

Keep in mind that sea vegetables are essential for our health and immunity. However, similar to salt, eating too many sea vegetables too often is not beneficial. Instead, it is best to consume sea vegetables regularly in small quantities.

Schedule A Macrobiotic Consultation Today

Denny Waxman has proudly worked with clients to better their nutrition and lifestyle practices for over 45 years. As a macrobiotic expert, Denny Waxman supports individuals through hour-long macrobiotic and health counseling sessions and makes personalized recommendations to improve their health.

To learn more about macrobiotic sea vegetables and how they fit into your diet, contact Denny Waxman today.

For more interesting articles about nutrition, macrobiotics, and living a healthy lifestyle, please visit Denny’s macrobiotic blog.